Written After the Arsenal-Everton match:
After Arsenal’s dramatic 2-1 victory over Everton, David Moyes chose to use his post-match press conference to slate Fàbregas for comments he is alleged to have made at half time to the referee. Moyes chose not to disclose what may or may not have been said, but this did not stop the majority of the British media digging into the Arsenal Captain for his “unprofessionalism,” whilst citing other incidents as a growing precedent of this.
It later transpired that Fàbregas implied that the referee had taken some form of bribe, which Moyes took as an insult to himself, his team and the integrity of both himself and the club. In fairness to Moyes, it was perhaps not the wisest thing for the Spaniard to have said, but Arsenal had seen a frankly ridiculous goal awarded against them, poor use of the advantage rule and two rather soft yellow cards. Being in the ground, it’s fair to say that the vast majority of the Emirates was fuming with Lee Mason and his officials, and what was said was in the heat of the moment. It is also worth noting that watching many other teams, especially Manchester United, the likes of Wayne Rooney and Paul Scholes (to name but two) and often seen telling referees to “fuck off” and the like, but the British media chooses not to outlaw the English players in the same fashion they have for the Spanish man.
Many newspapers elected to bring up the Brian Horton spitting controversy, in which Fàbregas was said to have spat at the Hull assistant manager and had the audacity to walk onto the pitch wearing clothes! He was cleared of the spitting charge and being Captain of the team who had just ground their way to a difficult victory and being out with a long-term knee injury, was he not well within his right to walk onto the pitch, wearing his own clothes, to congratulate his team mates?
Another was the incident after a dour 0-0 draw to Ewood Park with Blackburn, wherein he approached Mark Hughes and accosted him, asking if Hughes had played for Barcelona and then telling him “well that wasn’t Barcelona football.” That comment exudes immaturity, yes. Perhaps fair for a 19 year old? He later apologised for the comments, but that’s still no excuse. I mean, it’s not as if an English player would sleep with his friend’s ex-girlfriend, who was the mother of his friend’s child. Or even sleep with a prostitute while his wife was pregnant, then hold the club that had given him so much to ransom in order to earn a large increase on his pay cheque. Or indeed get arrested and found guilty of punching his girlfriend in the face.
Well it’s fair to say, Fàbregas’s being charged with spitting before an acquittal, making an immature comment at an opposing manager at 19 and using what was, in the scheme of things, quite a mild insult towards a referee definitely entitles him to a truckload of abuse from the English media - it’s scum like him that ruin the game for the Ryan Shawcross-es, the Martin Taylors and the Dan Smiths of this World.
The three aforementioned incidents involving English players above were of John Terry, Wayne Rooney and Andy Carroll (in that order), and it’s certainly fair to say that all those incidents clearly showed people with little integrity, little professionalism and even little respect for women. Have any of the incidents involving Fàbregas come anywhere near this magnitude? No. Have those three players been reviled on the level that Fàbregas has? No.